Kuehneromyces_mutabilis_Also known as sheathed wood tuft and two toned wood tuft, this widespread mushroom grows in dense troops from spring to the first frost on dead wood in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, especially in the West. It prefers hardwoods, especially beech, birch, and alder, but is sometimes found on conifers, especially spruce. The mushroom is 1 ½ to 4 inches tall and has a cap ¾ to 2 ½ inches across. The cap convex at first but develops an umbo with time. and dries at the center to become two toned, honey brown and yellow. The pale yellow gills become rusty brown with maturity, and are broadly attached to the stem and may run down the stem.  The sinuous stem is fibrous, tough, and has aromatic flesh. It has a ring and is pale and striated above the ring, dark, and scaly below it. The spores are ocher.

Brown stew mushroom is considered edible for the soft texture and pleasant fruity odor and flavor. The stem is too fibrous and tough to eat but the cap can be sautéed and added to sauces and soups. It is not often recommended, however, because it is difficult to distinguish it from poisonous mushrooms such as funeral bell, Galerina margnata.

By Strobilomyces – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=490102

By Karen